Monday, 7 February 2011

Swansea 0 Cardiff City 1

A superb Craig Bellamy strike sealed a thrilling south Wales derby win for Cardiff who climb over arch-rivals Swansea City into third.
On-loan Aaron Ramsey set up the former Wales captain on the edge of the box to curl his effort around Dorus de Vries and in off the post.
Darcy Blake had earlier struck the post for the Bluebirds while Chris Burke fired wide.
Scott Sinclair had Swansea's best chance but he could only blast over.
It was only the sixth goal the Swans had conceded at home all season, but for Cardiff, it marked their first derby win in Swansea since 1997 and first victory on the road since November.
Swansea set out to complete the first league double in the 82-year history of the derby after winning in Cardiff earlier this season.
But they could have been behind after just 35 seconds when Jay Bothroyd picked the ball up on the edge of the box before dragging his shot wide.
That was an early wake-up call for Swansea who then went on the attack, first with Darren Pratley seeing a shot blocked, and then Alan Tate headed Mark Gower's free kick over after Paul Quinn fouled Sinclair.
Cardiff always look a threat up front though, and it was Wales star Ramsey who was first to test Swans keeper De Vries.
The Arsenal midfielder, on loan at his hometown club and playing in his first derby, drilled a low 20-yard shot which De Vries parried, and Michael Chopra pounced on the rebound, only to be flagged offside.
Both sides got stuck into challenges and Pratley wanted a penalty at the other end when he went down under Quinn but the Bluebirds defender made enough contact with the ball.
Then Chopra found himself lucky to still be on the pitch on the half-hour when he went two-footed through the back of Ashley Williams, but escaped without even a caution.
Ex-Chelsea winger Sinclair had a relatively quiet first half but his best break down the left resulted in a dangerous cross into the box, and with Pratley rushing in, Bluebirds defender Kevin McNaughton cleared brilliantly under pressure.
Pratley was Swansea's biggest threat and he blasted an effort of his own comfortably over from 20 yards after bursting down the middle.
The Bluebirds were forced into a change at the break, with Darcy Blake coming on for McNaughton, but they started lively and on the hour, Quinn missed a guilt-edge chance after sneaking in to meet Craig Bellamy's corner only to glance his header wide from eight yards.
And two minutes later, Blake made a classy break into the box from the left, beating De Vries with a fierce shot which struck the far post.
Sinclair then showed what he can do with a brilliant run down the left before cutting inside and shaping up to shoot, but fired over, and then later saw a shot blocked by Hudson from a similar run.
Both sides pressed for a goal, Ramsey setting up Cardiff substitute Chris Burke who somehow managed to skew his shot wide.
Swansea relied mostly on the counter attack but the introduction of Craig Beattie for the ineffective Moore made the difference for them as the game really opened up.
Beattie was on hand free Sinclair in the box in the closing stages, but his out-stretched foot could only direct the ball the wrong side of the net.
But the winner came five minutes from time when Ramsey set up Bellamy with a neat one-two to delightfully curl the ball home and take all three points for his hometown club.

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